texting.jpgWho should receive $20,000 for their arts project? The text-voting public gets to choose.

The Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award invites South Floridians to vote by text to decide which of five up-and-coming organizations should receive $20,000. To vote, watch the nominees’ videos at KnightArts.org/peopleschoice and then text to support your favorite through Oct. 22.

The nominees are: the 6th Street Dance Studio, a nonprofit studio in Little Havana; the Arts Garage, a cultural hub in Delray Beach, FUNDarte, presenter of
multicultural exhibits and performances; LAB Miami, a co-working space at the intersection of art and business; and Urgent Inc. of North Dade, which works with the arts to revitalize urban communities.

Now in its fifth year, the Knight Arts Challenge is a community-wide contest for the best ideas for the arts, sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The challenge has invested $17 million in such projects aimed at uniting South Florida through culture.

This year, as a way of bringing more attention to smaller groups, the foundation is asking the public to vote by text for their favorite. The group that receives the most votes will get $20,000 in unrestricted funds to use for a project.

Each People’s Choice nominee is a finalist in the 2012 Knight Arts Challenge and is still eligible for a challenge grant. Winners of both the challenge and the People’s Choice Award will be announced Dec. 3.

“So much of the exciting art in South Florida is at the ground level,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts. “We want to make sure everybody knows about these groups and the work they are doing to engage people through the arts.”